Originally Posted by Peter Goldwing
Normally I do my oil change myself on all equipment I own.
However I have never done so on my 2012 Highlander ( purchased a few years old) They charge around $65 for fully synthetic oil.
It looks like I would do the labor for free.
Every-time I go there I get sucked in to do some additional work.
I said, no more and I bought the special wrench to remove the oil filter.
I had to take it one last time due to my busy life.
At that time they offered me lifetime oil change for like $250.00 It was a great deal since they did count the last oil change as part of it. So practically I only paid $185 for it
Yesterday I went for an oil change and of course they came with 4-5 things that need fixed or replaced.
The lady said that the car needs realignment ( the car has less then 100k miles)
A few days ago I drove my car in a tight turn in the parking lot and the almost new tire squealed a bit. So I thought she might be right.
When the car was done I incurred a charge of $103.00
She gave me a computer print out with all the diagrams and alignment info.The only misalignment was the thrust angle( rear end).
The angle was 0.26 degree and was supposed to be 0.11 degree.
I dont think 0.15 degree makes any difference at all but im not a mechanic.
My conclusion is that they got me again.
Next time I go, I wont buy a darn thing even if they tell me the car will explode.
Sorry for the late response.
To decipher your readings, if your vehicle spec is .11 you would want to go to .10 and have a reading of .05 on the left and .05 on the right as opposed to say .10 on the left and .00 on the right. And yes the .15 can create a pull or drift, although in my opinion and experience, if you’re .25 or less out of spec. you’re still in pretty good shape.
Just to clear a few things up, thrust angle is the tracking of the rear axle. It is not adjustable per say, but I’ll explain how it can be improved if out of spec. Maybe!!!
If it is a solid axle, or independent suspension, imagine drawing a straight line through the wheel center line left to right, or visa versa, and then a perpendicular line to the vehicle. This would mean the rear wheels are both directly next to each other and in a straight line with the vehicle. On an alignment rack you would want to see zero on both sides, and a total toe of zero, but that usually never happens. The rear axle is almost always “tilted” to the left or right. If you were to hold a pencil up and tilt it to the left, you could imagine if wheels were hooked to it they would both be left tilting as well. To equate into alignment language, the left wheel would have negative toe, or be outward pointing, and the right wheel would have positive toe, or pointing inward. Negative readings are numbers less than zero and positive above zero. This is where your “print out” could read in spec on the total toe measurement, but obviously be out of spec side to side. So, thrust agle can be adjusted if the axle is loosened and pryed to try and shift it in its mounts, but that gives you very little adjustment. You may or may not get the .15 needed. Usually a vehicle that was hit or backed hard into a curb will tweak the frame or axle mountings thus sending the thrust angle out of spec. On an independent rear suspension, most have individual toe adjustments on either side, but even if both sides are at zero, that doesnt mean the wheels are in a straight line relative to the vehicle. Hopefully that clears it up a little.
As far as “upselling”, I worked as a line mechanic my whole life, and yes I tried to upsell but honestly. If I had a vehicle in the air and saw the tires had edge wear or tapered “saw tooth” wear, that is a visual that the alignment is out. As far as knowing if the thrust angle is out, a machine would be needed.